Plugging Holes: Northeast Division

Tim Thomas has left the Bruins with a gap to fill this summer. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

With the Stanley Cup finals in the books, it's time for every NHL team to tinker with its roster and see how it can retool for next season. The analysts of Hockey Prospectus provide some help, identifying the biggest shortcoming on every NHL roster using their GVT valuation metric (explained here) and offering a unique suggestion on how to fix it for 2012-13. The series continues with fixes for the five teams in the Northeast Division, where the Bruins suddenly have an unexpected hole to fill.

Boston Bruins

The hole: Backup goaltender

Over the past three seasons, the Boston Bruins have had the most comfortable and successful one-two punch in goal in the NHL with Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. Thomas, of course, came away with the hardware and fame, but Rask filled in more often than most second-string goalies and thrived in the role. During those three seasons, Rask's save percentages were an outstanding .931, .918 and .929. But with Thomas opting to take next season off, Rask takes over as the No. 1. That leaves coach Claude Julien in need of a second man between the pipes.